Problems with Momemtus XT SSD/HDD Hybrid

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The critically acclaimed SSD/HDD hybrid Momentus XT from Seagate – a combination of a 7,200rpm hard drive and 4GB of SLC NAND flash – that we mentioned a while back appears to be stuck with some teething problems. Seagate has received a lot of complaints from users of the Momentus XT for reasons including excessive spin-downs/ups, hangs and beeps.

The phenomenon with the unnecessary sleep states is believed to be caused by a feature called Advanced Power Management (APM), which ensures that the hard drive goes into sleep mode to save energy and reduce mechanical wear. APM also lets the SSD part of the drive take over the processing of the data used most frequently by the system. This feature appears to be set too aggressively, according to users who discussed the problems in Seagate’s forum.

One user states that he was initially impressed by the hybrid’s specifications, but also that after a few weeks of use, it started to behave abnormally with too many spin-downs. After looking into the drive’s SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), he found that it had stopped and started 3,200 times.

Seagate has investigated the problem and released a firmware update that will fix the behavior with overly frequent sleep states. The issues with beeps and hangs remain, though, but the manufacturer has promised that a solution will be forthcoming.

As a PC gaming enthusiast since the 3dfx Voodoo era, Jesper has had time to experiment with a fair few FPS-improving PC parts over the years. His job at GPCB is to test and evaluate hardware, mainly focusing on GPUs and storage devices.

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